No cook should attempt to function without good stocks. It is in classic French cooking that we find the art of stock-making at its most advanced. Without a range of stocks there could be none of the sauces associated with grande cuisine - glace de viande, demi-glace, chasseur, duxelles, espagnole, gibier, jus de veau lié, poivrade, suprême and velouté. Fish sauces, e.g. fumet de poisson, are all based on fish bones and trimmings.

The base stocks are called fonds: brun, made from beef, veal and raw ham; gibier, a selection of game; blanc, veal and chicken. In the classic tradition, stocks are elevated works which call for expensive ingredients. According to Escoffier a fond blanc needs four raw chicken carcasses and 1.5kg / 3½lb of shin of veal to yield just 1.5 litres / 2½pt of stock.